The future of the company has never been less certain two weeks after Elon Musk completed his purchase of Twitter.
One of the most influential social networks in the world has fired half of its staff in the past week alone, alienated powerful advertisers, blown up key features of its product, then repeatedly launched and unlaunched other features meant to make up for it and experienced a departure of senior executives.
With additional senior departures, escalating confusion over fake verified accounts, and an unusually public censure from the US government on Thursday, the wild swings at Twitter only seemed to get worse.
It’s a startling turn of events for Musk, who paid $44 billion for the business, as well as for a platform used by some of the world’s most influential individuals, including presidents, CEOs, and the pope.
On Friday, it appeared like there might be no end to the inconvenience. Twitter has changed its position on the issue and announced that it would reintroduce a grey “Official” badge for a restricted group of accounts to help verify their identities. The choice was made as Twitter had to fight off a flood of fake verified accounts this week, some of which were posing as Nintendo, the pharmaceutical corporation Eli Lilly, former President Donald Trump, and others. These accounts came about because of Musk’s hasty decision to offer a blue check mark to any account user willing to pay $8 a month, without asking any questions, as he searches for new ways to monetize the platform.
Just two days after its formal launch, that premium subscription service was also abruptly terminated on Friday. The only place the add-on had been made available was in the Twitter iOS app, where the menu option to sign up for Twitter Blue had previously been present. When the corporation might reinstate the offering was unclear at first.
The grey “Official” label has come to symbolize the recent whiplash that customers, staff members, and marketers have gone through.
Musk abruptly tweeted that he had “killed” the feature, requiring colleagues to explain the reversal. The grey badges, which were designed to assist users to distinguish between authentic celebrity and sponsored accounts and accounts that had only paid for a blue check mark, went live on Wednesday.